October 28th, 2005

Electronic Recording Devices in the Late 1920s

Okay, I am having a little problem with my Google-fu. So perhaps someone could help me a bit: I need to know if there was a kind of recording device in 1928 (in America. Boston, to be exact) that could have been used to record a private interview with someone and the recording still be able to be listened to today (I can say it was transferred to other formats over the years). I know the magnetic tape recorder wasn't invented until 1931, so would radio equipment have to be used to record this interview, or was there another method that could be used?

Basically, the person being interviewed is something of a medical and psychological oddity, and therefore a conversation with him was recorded for posterity, and part of the story takes place today, where some characters are listening to the recording. Any ideas of what could be used?

historical treatment of broken clavical

In a fall, a healthy adult male breaks his collarbone (or at least that's the current idea). In the late 17th to mid 18th century, what sort of treatment would be available? I could only find info on modern treatment; I understand a sling would probably be useful, but as he is a blacksmith with a family to support, I don't want to put him out of commission permanently. Is this the sort of injury that would be quite serious, but from which he'd be able to make a full recovery in a few weeks/months?

Thanks in advance!
  • Current Mood: curious

When and how do dolphins learn ecolocation?

I have an idea for a mini-fanfic based on the Ecco the Dolphin games. The idea centers around a baby bottlenose dolphin learning how to use his sonar, but I'm not sure if that's plausible or not.

So, my questions are this: At what age do bottlenose dolphins (or dolphins or even just cetaceans in general) start to use echolocation? Does it seem to be instinctual, like human breathing, instinctual but needing practice, like a cat learning to hunt, or does it have to be learned, like chimps using sticks to catch termites?

Even some good search queries would be useful here - everything I can think of just brings up general dolphin FAQs with things like "How do dolphins use sonar?" and "How long do dolphins live?".

(Edited to add a topic title. I thought I had one... sorry!)
  • Current Mood: curious

Crossdressing in the medieval times

World = Medieval Technology, with the ability to slightly bend things to my whim using magical technobabble.

Now here's the thing. One of my characters is an MtF. That is, he was male, and decided, hey, I'm really a woman at heart. So for the past 4, 5, 6 years or so, he's been living his life as a woman.

I need to know what sort of things would be available for him to present this illusion with. That is, for lack of a more specific phrase, how would he stuff his bra and make it look believable?

I phoned a friend for this one and he suggested waterskins of proper size and shape. But filled with a substance relatively thicker than water (we came up with the idea of a thinned-out mud, since the waterskins would be airtight and it wouldn't dry up).

How believable would this kind of a thing be? Or, if possible, any better suggestions would be gladly taken.

(no subject)

I don't think searches will help me very much because my recollection is very vague...I remember reading somewhere once about a pyschological condition which results from being immersed in art on European tours and such. It's some sort of occurence where the person is so overwhelmed by what they're seeing that they go into almost a catatonic state where they become unresponsive. Anyway, the general idea is that they shut down because of beauty overload, basically. Does anyone have any other information on this, or what it's actually called? I know what was the broadest description ever, but that's why I need help.